Wilhelm Keitel

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Nazi General Wilhelm Keitel in c.1939 or 1940 during WW2.

Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel (born 22 September 1882 in Helmscherode, Duchy Of Brunswick, Germany – died 16 October 1946 in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany) was a German field marshal, a Nazi war criminal and the chief of the Wehrmacht between 1938 and 1945. He was one of the 24 accused of the Nuremberg Trials and hanged in 1946.

Life[change | change source]

Early life and career[change | change source]

Wilhelm Bodewin Johann Gustav Keitel was born on 22 September 1882 in Helmscherode in the Duchy Of Brunswick (today Lower Saxony). He joined the Imperial German Army in 1901, aged 19.

During World War I, Keitel served on the Western Front and took part in the fighting in Flanders, where he was wounded a lot.

During Nazi era[change | change source]

From 1919 to 1933, under Weimar Republic, Keitel was part of the Reichswehr. In 1935, he was promoted to the rank of major general and appointed chief of the Reich Ministry of War's Armed Forces Office (Wehrmachtsamt). On 1 January 1936, he was promoted to lieutenant general. In 1938, he became the chief of the Wehrmacht between 1938 and 1945.

Keitel was a Nazi, and he was one of Adolf Hitler's most loyal followers. As the chief of the Wehrmacht, he was responsible for many war crimes, such as sending millions of Jews to extermination camps.

Death[change | change source]

During the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, Keitel was convicted as a Nazi war criminal. He was executed by hanging on 16 October 1946, aged 64, for his war crimes.

Legacy[change | change source]

Wilhelm Keitel appeared in the movie Downfall.